The 40/40 cleanse/detox/journey the last few weeks of 2014 was a real ride for me. I found that many of the things I asked for or mentioned out loud came back as fast as I could say “yes” to them. So it was pretty amazing that after mentioning to a friend that I wanted more leadership training and self-help guidance, the next day I was invited to the Design Your Life Weekend with The Handel Group®. After hearing about the power of the Handel Method from Elena Brower, when she spoke at our speaker series SERENE 360, I was incredibly interested in the unique way they help change lives from the inside out — truly I had never heard of anything like this.
The Design Your Life weekend is a crash course intensive on the method, which gives key tools and guidance for creating the life you want. With a tough, no-holds-barred approach, this method is definitely for those who need (and can handle) a swift kick in the butt. I have always been a believer of keeping it real and thought I was the kind of person that did — that was until I spent a weekend with The Handel Group.
I’ll start with my end discovery and work my way back. Turns out, according to my DYL coaches, I am a “Know It All Lookgooder” — a title, once further explained, I completely agreed with and realized was one of the biggest things holding me back.
Essentially, I realized that I carry myself in a way that keeps me from looking vulnerable, flawed or failing in anyway. And the truth is that, not only is it fake, but it also keeps me in a state of denial, disconnected from myself and others. How can I really be who I want to be if I’m so out of touch because I’m trying to look put together?! So, in celebration and appreciation of this newfound wisdom that The Handel Group® so kindly provided me, I’m going to share my experience with raw honesty.
The Handel Group assigns homework you complete before entering into the DYL weekend, and it is serious work! It’s a complete excavation of your dreams and inner fears and beliefs, broken down into The Handel Group’s “18 Areas of Life”. If you can get through unearthing those, the 18 areas of your life that just so happen to be the basis of the Handel Method, then you are well on your way to the nitty gritty of the work that the method ensures will change your life. The homework is in depth and takes hours to complete. Nevertheless, I found myself finding new clarity when taking a good look at what I wanted to become my dream in every area of my life, from romance and my career to even personal space.
So, homework in hand, I began the first morning of the course day began with a lesson about the Handel Method main principles.
Pillar #1: You chose your life.
The Handel Group teaches from the premise (though not provable, they admit) that all of us chose the life we have before we enter the world. Where we were born, who we were born to, our bodies and everything else that comprises a life. They suggest that we choose our lives so that we can learn certain lessons. This is something that I generally subscribe to, and like The Handel Group®, I feel that this also offers us comfort and purpose in knowing that we have a reason for being who we are.
Pillar #2: You are the author.
This is definitely a belief that I share. Anyone who knows me knows that I strongly believe we create our lives, so I was happy to see that The Handel Group felt the same way! The Handel Group has a fresh take on this theory, emphasizing that it is about being more accountable for your life with daily tasks that lead to your dream and self-made consequences to hold you to them.
Throughout the rest of the weekend, we dove into the deeper work of the method, doing writing exercises and sharing in groups, and learning more about how we can measure and account for our emotions and actions. The one that stood out most to me is this: highlights that we all have a destructive inner voice that we must find a way to conquer with daily work. This inner voice can play out as the voices The Handel Group calls the “brat,” “chicken,” or “weather reporter”— you can look forward to discovering more about these descriptions when you get a chance to work with The Handel Group.
In short, what I learned from The Handel Group’s perspective, the way to change your life is to focus on rewriting the way you want your life to be, based on the 18 areas, and then tell that new and uplifted story every day! To take it a step further, you must be honest with yourself and others, while also aware of the voices within you that might oppose the dream! Sounds pretty darn good to me!!
By the end of the course day two, I felt like I had a million things I had to work on and was totally aware of my list of obstacles. It seemed the sentiment of the coaches was that indeed, we are all F@&$ed up and this was an answer to get better because that “dark” part of us will always fight to exist. All of the coaches shared their stories of battles with their own inner voices, and gave examples of how the Handel Method worked in their own personal and professional lives.
Although I agree with the fact that we are all human, this was certainly a different take on the teachings of Abraham Hicks that I have applied to my life the past few years. I was torn. Could it be that we are all messed up and need tight goals and guidelines to keep us aligned in their direction? And should we go off course or fail, is there a structure that holds us accountable with built-in consequences? None of it contradicts what I know about the law of attraction, in fact the two philosophies seem to work in concert in a way.
All in all, although there were parts of the method slightly more in your face than the teachings I have followed as of late, the main cornerstones of the Design Your Life Weekend gave me some serious clarity. Even writing this piece, I am reminded to get back into reading my dream and saying it EVERY DAY. I am also reminded of how greatly their honesty impacted me and realize, in a public forum, how much I hide my truth to look like I’m doing better than others. I feel thankful that I tried a method outside of my comfort zone.
Anyone who wants/needs accountability, is goal-oriented, and could use a hard-nosed approach to achieving their dreams should experience the Handel Method®. Not only does The Handel Group give their clients tangible results, but the effects are more concrete than the more energetic and theoretical New Age approach. If you are looking for the balance of both in the new world, I say go check them out ASAP!